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2 Kings 5 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Elisha Heals a Syrian General

Now Naaman, the commander of the king of Syria’s army, was esteemed and respected by his master,[a] for through him the Lord had given Syria military victories. But this great warrior had a skin disease.[b] Raiding parties went out from Syria and took captive from the land of Israel a young girl, who became a servant to Naaman’s wife. She told her mistress, “If only my master were in the presence of the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his skin disease.”

Naaman[c] went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said. The king of Syria said, “Go! I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman[d] went, taking with him 10 talents[e] of silver, 6,000 shekels of gold,[f] and 10 suits of clothes. He brought the letter to the king of Israel. It read: “This is a letter of introduction for my servant Naaman,[g] whom I have sent to be cured of his skin disease.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill or restore life? Why does he ask me to cure a man of his skin disease?[h] Certainly you must see that he is looking for an excuse to fight me!”[i]

When Elisha the prophet[j] heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent this message to the king, “Why did you tear your clothes? Send him[k] to me so he may know there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood in the doorway of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent out a messenger who told him, “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan; your skin will be restored[l] and you will be healed.” 11 Naaman went away angry. He said, “Look, I thought for sure he would come out, stand there, invoke the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the area, and cure the skin disease. 12 The rivers of Damascus, the Abana and Pharpar, are better than any of the waters of Israel![m] Could I not wash in them and be healed?” So he turned around and went away angry. 13 His servants approached and said to him,[n] “O master,[o] if the prophet had told you to do some difficult task,[p] you would have been willing to do it.[q] It seems you should be happy that he simply said, ‘Wash and you will be healed.’[r] 14 So he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, as the prophet had instructed.[s] His skin became as smooth as a young child’s[t] and he was healed.

15 He and his entire entourage returned to the prophet. Naaman[u] came and stood before him. He said, “For sure[v] I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel! Now, please accept a gift from your servant.” 16 But Elisha[w] replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives (whom I serve),[x] I will take nothing from you.” Naaman[y] insisted that he take it, but he refused. 17 Naaman said, “If not, then please give your servant a load of dirt, enough for a pair of mules to carry,[z] for your servant will never again offer a burnt offering or sacrifice to a god other than the Lord.[aa] 18 May the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship, and he leans on my arm and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”[ab] 19 Elisha[ac] said to him, “Go in peace.”

When he had gone a short distance,[ad] 20 Gehazi, the prophet Elisha’s servant, thought,[ae] “Look, my master did not accept what this Syrian Naaman offered him.[af] As certainly as the Lord lives, I will run after him and accept something from him.” 21 So Gehazi ran after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from his chariot to meet him and asked, “Is everything all right?”[ag] 22 He answered, “Everything is fine.[ah] My master sent me with this message, ‘Look, two servants of the prophets just arrived from the Ephraimite hill country.[ai] Please give them a talent[aj] of silver and two suits of clothes.’” 23 Naaman said, “Please accept two talents of silver.”[ak] He insisted, and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, along with two suits of clothes. He gave them to two of his servants and they carried them for Gehazi.[al] 24 When he arrived at the hill, he took them from the servants[am] and put them in the house. Then he sent the men on their way.[an]

25 When he came and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” He answered, “Your servant hasn’t been anywhere.” 26 Elisha[ao] replied, “I was there in spirit when a man turned and got down from his chariot to meet you.[ap] This is not the proper time to accept silver or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, sheep, cattle, and male and female servants.[aq] 27 Therefore Naaman’s skin disease will afflict[ar] you and your descendants forever!” When Gehazi[as] went out from his presence, his skin was as white as snow.[at]

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 5:1 tn Heb “was a great man before his master and lifted up with respect to the face.”
  2. 2 Kings 5:1 tn For a discussion of מְצֹרָע (metsoraʿ), traditionally translated “leprous,” see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 63. Naaman probably had a skin disorder of some type, not leprosy/Hansen’s disease.
  3. 2 Kings 5:4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Naaman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  4. 2 Kings 5:5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Naaman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  5. 2 Kings 5:5 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 750 pounds of silver (cf. NCV, NLT, CEV).
  6. 2 Kings 5:5 tn Heb “six thousand gold […].” The unit of measure is not given in the Hebrew text. A number of English versions supply “pieces” (e.g., KJV, ASV, NAB, TEV) or “shekels” (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV).
  7. 2 Kings 5:6 tn Heb “and now when this letter comes to you, look, I have sent to you Naaman my servant.”
  8. 2 Kings 5:7 tn Heb “Am I God, killing and restoring life, that this one sends to me to cure a man from his skin disease?” In the Hebrew text this is one lengthy rhetorical question, which has been divided up in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  9. 2 Kings 5:7 tn Heb “Indeed, know and see that he is seeking an occasion with respect to me.”
  10. 2 Kings 5:8 tn Heb “man of God” (also in vv. 15, 20).
  11. 2 Kings 5:8 tn Heb “Let him come.”
  12. 2 Kings 5:10 tn Heb “will return to you.”
  13. 2 Kings 5:12 tn Heb “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all of the waters of Israel?” The rhetorical question expects an emphatic “yes” as an answer.
  14. 2 Kings 5:13 tn Heb “They spoke to him. They said.”
  15. 2 Kings 5:13 tn Heb “my father,” reflecting the perspective of each individual servant. To address their master as “father” would emphasize his authority and express their respect. See BDB 3 s.v. אָב and the similar idiomatic use of “father” in 2 Kgs 2:12.
  16. 2 Kings 5:13 tn Heb “a great thing.”
  17. 2 Kings 5:13 tn Heb “would you not do [it]?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course you would.”
  18. 2 Kings 5:13 tn Heb “How much more [when] he said, “Wash and be healed.” The second imperative (“be healed”) states the expected result of obeying the first (‘wash”).
  19. 2 Kings 5:14 tn Heb “according to the word of the man of God.”
  20. 2 Kings 5:14 tn Heb “and his skin was restored, like the skin of a small child.”
  21. 2 Kings 5:15 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Naaman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  22. 2 Kings 5:15 tn Heb “look.”
  23. 2 Kings 5:16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  24. 2 Kings 5:16 tn Heb “before whom I stand.”
  25. 2 Kings 5:16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Naaman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  26. 2 Kings 5:17 tn Heb “and [if] not, may there be given to your servant a load [for] a pair of mules, earth.”
  27. 2 Kings 5:17 tn Heb “for your servant will not again make a burnt offering and sacrifice to other gods, only to the Lord.”
  28. 2 Kings 5:18 tn Heb “When my master enters the house of Rimmon to bow down there, and he leans on my hand and I bow down [in] the house of Rimmon, when I bow down [in] the house of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this thing.”sn Rimmon was the Syrian storm god. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 65.
  29. 2 Kings 5:19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  30. 2 Kings 5:19 tn Heb “and he went from him a distance of land.” The precise meaning of כִּבְרַה (kivrah) “distance,” is uncertain. See BDB 460 s.v. כִּבְרַה, and HALOT 459-60 s.v. II *כְּבָרַה, and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 65.
  31. 2 Kings 5:20 tn Heb “said” (i.e., to himself).
  32. 2 Kings 5:20 tn Heb “Look, my master spared this Syrian Naaman by not taking from his hand what he brought.”
  33. 2 Kings 5:21 tn Heb “Is there peace?”
  34. 2 Kings 5:22 tn Heb “peace.”
  35. 2 Kings 5:22 tn Heb “Look now, here, two servants came to me from the Ephraimite hill country, from the sons of the prophets.”
  36. 2 Kings 5:22 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 75 pounds of silver (cf. NCV, NLT, CEV).
  37. 2 Kings 5:23 tn Heb “Be resolved and accept two talents.”
  38. 2 Kings 5:23 tn Heb “before him.”
  39. 2 Kings 5:24 tn Heb “from their hand.”
  40. 2 Kings 5:24 tn Heb “and he sent the men away and they went.”
  41. 2 Kings 5:26 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  42. 2 Kings 5:26 tn Heb “Did not my heart go as a man turned from his chariot to meet you?” The rhetorical question emphasizes that he was indeed present in “heart” (or “spirit”) and was very much aware of what Gehazi had done. In the MT the interrogative particle has been accidentally omitted before the negative particle.
  43. 2 Kings 5:26 tn In the MT the statement is phrased as a rhetorical question, “Is this the time…?” It expects an emphatic negative response.
  44. 2 Kings 5:27 tn Heb “cling to.”
  45. 2 Kings 5:27 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Gehazi) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  46. 2 Kings 5:27 tn Traditionally, “he went from before him, leprous like snow.” But see the note at 5:1, as well as M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 66.
New English Translation (NET)

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2 Kings 5 New International Version (NIV)

Naaman Healed of Leprosy

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.[a]

Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents[b] of silver, six thousand shekels[c] of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”

19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[d] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 5:1 The Hebrew for leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verses 3, 6, 7, 11 and 27.
  2. 2 Kings 5:5 That is, about 750 pounds or about 340 kilograms
  3. 2 Kings 5:5 That is, about 150 pounds or about 69 kilograms
  4. 2 Kings 5:22 That is, about 75 pounds or about 34 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)

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